A large bust of drugs was reported by police on June 19 at the airport in Colombia's capital city of Bogota when security personnel at the airport said that a Honduran woman, 22-year-old Paola Deyanira Sabillon, was found with 3.3 pounds of liquid cocaine hidden inside her breast implants, according to a report from Reuters. Sabillon was trying to get through airport security on her way to Spain when officials said that her obvious nervousness while in the security line raised some red flags.
When the authorities at the airport X-rayed the woman, they were able to determine that her breast implants were loaded with cocaine. Busted, Sabillon confessed that “an unknown substance had been implanted which she was meant to take to Barcelona, police added,” according to a quote from NBC News. Officials in Bogota said that Sabillon’s black market loading of her implants took place at a “clandestine clinic” located in western Columbia’s city of Pereira.
Police transported the woman to a hospital in Bogota where the implants had to be surgically removed. Sabillon also had to be treated for an infection while at the hospital.
Reuters went on to report that about 300 tons of cocaine are produced annually in Columbia. Spain, especially, is always on the outlook for drugs coming in from the more notorious drug-producing countries and employs a police unit specifically dedicated to checking passenger arrivals coming out of those countries. And smuggling drugs in breast implants isn’t as uncommon as one might think.
In August 2014, drug agents became suspicious of a woman who began acting nervously during a routine screening at the international airport in Madrid, Spain. The 43-year-old woman from Venezuela had just landed in Madrid from Bogota. After she was detained, police discovered almost four pounds of cocaine stuffed into her two breast implants, according to a report from CBS News. Agents at the airport initially screened the woman’s luggage but didn't find any unusual contraband.
But when a female narcotics agent patted the woman down, she found “irregularities and deformations in both of the suspect's breasts,” according to a quote from CBS. And that’s when the alleged female drug mule confessed to having cocaine in her breast implants.
That top heavy drug smuggling suspect was also transported to a nearby hospital and detained there “for an alleged crime against public health,” according to the police statement. The Huffington Post reported that the woman’s implants were surgically removed at the hospital and found to contain 1.7 kilos, approximately 3.7 pounds, of cocaine.
A board-certified plastic surgeon out of New York City, Dr. Matthew Schulman, shared with The Daily News that carrying contraband in breast implants isn’t all that new, unusual or uncommon – especially to the plastic surgery community. "It's probably done more often than people realize," Schulman said – adding that security alerts started being issued several years ago for officials to be on the lookout for “terrorists using breast implants as a way to move bombs.”
In the instance of the Venezuelan woman having cocaine stuffed into her breast implants, Schulman theorized that the woman somehow managed to replace the saline that was in her implants with the coke. The Daily News quoted Schulman as saying "There's obvious risks with that because it was probably not done under sterile conditions, so there's risk of infection and also the body absorbing that cocaine, which could cause sudden death from a cocaine overdose.”
By /Richard Webster - Examiner/June 20, 2015
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